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Best French Dessert Recipes

Best French Dessert Recipes

French Dessert Shopping Tips

There are so many varieties of chocolate on the shelves today it can be overwhelming to pick one – as a general rule of thumb, the fewer the ingredients, the better the chocolate.

French Dessert Cooking Tips

Think beyond cakes and pies – fruits like peaches, pineapple, and figs are excellent grilled – brush with melted butter or wine and sprinkle with sugar and spices for a dessert that you can feel good about.

Top 7 Quick and Easy French Desserts .

For the beginner baker, French desserts are often daunting. However, with these easy and delicious recipes you'll see that they're not so hard to make as long as you follow some basic instructions.

I've got a handful of recipes for you that will have your mouth watering before you know it! Trust me when I say these delicious French desserts are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. You'll be the hit of the party, and you'll feel like a pro.

20 French Dessert Recipes For When You're Feeling Fancy

These delicate cookies are somehow simultaneously crispy, chewy, soft, and light as air.

Meet your new favorite way to serve ice cream.

Nutella is optional, but obviously, we're going to go there.

It's so much easier than the real thing.

You won't even miss frosting.

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To create the signature shell covering the custard, sprinkle with brown sugar and broil until bubbly and deep brown.

When made with frozen puff pastry, these treats are easy to flavor with any fillings your heart desires.

Recreate the restaurant fave at home.

Alternating layers of wafer-thin crepes and rich chocolate pudding are better than any layer cake.

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Rich and spiked with the intense flavor of espresso, these little chocolate pots might even be better than chocolate mousse.

Think French desserts will kill your diet? Think again.

It looks fancy, but it's stupid easy to make.

These shell-shaped, cakey cookies are a French treat typically served with tea. The buttery madeleines are spiced with ground cardamom and coated with a sweet citrus icing.

This spiced tart proves that simple can be so satisfying.

What is French dessert without crepes? Really now.

These vibrant eclairs are bursting with blueberry and floral flavor notes.

Coconut Cake Recipes

Who would have thought that the classic coconut cake recipe that you have grown to love is actually a sweet French treat? In order to get that truly moist coconut cake recipe that you love, try making sure all your ingredients are room temperature. With the right ingredients, your coconut cream cake will be as tender and light as the kind in a French bakery. And no easy coconut cake is complete without a creamy, smooth frosting to put on top. These recipes will help you make the perfect coconut cake from top to bottom!

Canelés de Bordeau

Pastry expert Niko Triantafillou of Dessert Buzz has made creating the perfect canelé one of his life quests. His recipe is the real deal: crunchy and caramelized to a deep mahogany brown on the outside, moist and custardy within, and deeply perfumed with dark rum and vanilla bean. Get the recipe for Canelés de Bordeaux » Matt Taylor-Gross

10 Petite French Desserts That Are Oh-So-Cute And Tasty

With these tiny desserts, you can taste more than one, or have a dessert-tasting party to try them all.

The French way is the petite treat. Just two delicious bites of a dessert &ndash a madeleine, sablé, nougat, or macaron &ndash is all you need to get a punch of flavor. Authors Kathryn Gordon, a professional baking instructor and chef, and food writer Anne E. McBride, PhD, explore the world of mini-sweets in their book "Les Petits Sweets: Two-Bite Desserts From The French Pâtisserie ," with recipes to encourage your sweet tooth. Warning: You'll go back for seconds and thirds.

You will not eat them thinking that black pepper and sour cream belong on a baked potato rather, you will marvel at the imperceptible elements that make them unique.

Makes 12 large madeleines


6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3&frasl4 teaspoon baking powder

1&frasl2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1&frasl4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Vegetable oil cooking spray


1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it melt. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.

2. Place the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a paring knife into the sugar. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment, set the bowl, add the eggs to the sugar, and whisk
until the mixture reaches a ribbon stage, where the whisk leaves a strong, three-dimensional shape.

3. Whisk a little bit of the egg mixture into the sour cream to loosen it, then add the sour cream to the mixing bowl and whisk until combined.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt until just combined, about 30 seconds. Fold in the melted butter. Spoon the batter into a piping bag (do not cut an opening yet), tie the bag closed, and refrigerate the batter overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a nonstick 12-cup madeleine pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

6. Cut a 1&frasl4-inch (6-millimeter) opening straight across the tip of the pastry bag. Pipe the madeleine batter into each cavity of the pan, filling it nearly to the top. Immediately place the pan in the hot oven and bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the edges
of the madeleines are golden and their top is puffed up. Remove from the oven and unmold immediately by inverting the pan onto a wire rack. Eat the same day.

These cookies are great on their own, but you can also sandwich them with your favorite ganache recipe, or as suggested here, with a blueberry cream filling.

Makes about 50 cookies or 25 sandwiches

1 teaspoon finely ground black tea

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1&frasl2 cup confectioners&rsquo sugar

1&frasl2 teaspoon ground ginger

1&frasl2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1&frasl2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1&frasl8 teaspoon ground cloves

1&frasl8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat the honey and tea in a small saucepan over medium heat until the honey begins to boil, then remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Stir the egg whites into the honey mixture.

5. In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose and cake flours, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper. Alternating between the flour and the honey mixtures, add the dry and wet ingredients to the mixer a little at a time, only mixing until just combined before adding more. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.

6. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1&frasl2-inch round tip (alternatively, cut a 1&frasl2-inch opening in the bag). Pipe the batter into 3-inch-long ovals (cat tongues) on the baking sheet, 1 inch apart, until the batter is used up. If not all cookies fit on the prepared baking sheet, keep the batter in the bag until the first batch has baked, or use a second lined baking sheet.

7. Bake for 7 minutes, until the cookies are golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The baked cookies, without filling, can keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

1&frasl2 cup blueberry purée or fresh blueberries (boil for 1 minute and purée with an immersion blender)

1&frasl4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8.8 ounces white chocolate finely chopped, preferably Opalys (about 12&frasl3 cups)


1. Heat the blueberry purée and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour in the chopped chocolate, and shake the pot so that the chocolate is submerged. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk rapidly from the center of the pot outward in a spiral shape until the chocolate is fully melted. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and refrigerate to let it set, about 1 hour.

2. When the mixture is firm, spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1&frasl4-inch round tip (alternatively, cut a 1&frasl4-inch opening in the bag). Pipe a strip of filling over the length of one cookie, and top it with another, slightly pressing the top cookie so that the sandwich is tight. Once filled, eat them the same day.

I first came across the intriguing combination of chocolate and prune in a David Lebovitz macaron recipe. They go together brilliantly, with depth and complexity.


1&frasl2 cup prunes, cut into 1&frasl2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3&frasl4 cup chopped)

1&frasl4 teaspoon fine sea salt


1. Place the cut prunes and rum in a small bowl or container and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line mini muffin pans (or other similarly sized molds) with aluminum foil or paper baking cups.

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces, shaking the pan so that the chocolate is completely
submerged. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then whisk from the center until it is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the almond flour, granulated sugar, and eggs on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth, then mix in the all-purpose flour and salt until just combined, about 30 seconds.

5. Spoon or pipe the batter two thirds of the way into the lined cups and bake until the centers have risen and the cakes&rsquo edges are slightly colored but still soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cups to a wire rack and let cool completely. Wrapped tightly in
plastic wrap, they will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer.

The pillowy interior and crisp exterior of Pâte à Choux combined with soft, rich pastry cream is as close to a perfect sweet bite as they come.

Pâte à Choux

The amount of eggs needed in pâte à choux varies. For this recipe, you&rsquoll need somewhere between two and three eggs, so the best thing to do is to whisk three eggs together and pour that mixture into the dough a little at a time, rather than risk cracking whole eggs directly into it and having too
much with a whole third one.


3&frasl4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1&frasl2 teaspoon fine sea salt

3&frasl4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 scant tablespoon granulated sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Combine the milk, butter, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. While the mixture is heating, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Once the milk boils, remove the pot from the heat and immediately add the flour and sugar all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until a smooth ball forms.

2. Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running at medium speed, pour in two thirds of the eggs and mix until smooth. Draw a spatula through the dough it should flow without leaving a shape in the dough. If it doesn&rsquot, pour in a little more of the eggs, mix, and test again.

3. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1&frasl2-inch round
tip (alternatively, cut a 1&frasl2-inch opening in the bag). Pipe and bake.

To Pipe Éclairs: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Holding the pastry bag at a 45-degree angle above the parchment paper, pipe the dough into a 3&frasl4-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strip. Maintain a consistent pressure on the bag as you squeeze it. When you reach 2 inches, stop the piping pressure and do not pull the bag up. Space the éclairs 1 inch apart. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. A cooked éclair feels light, with a firm shell, when you pick it up. Let cool completely.



1&frasl4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1&frasl2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Fit an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.

2. Place the egg and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk in the cornstarch and salt.

3. Whisk together the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture, doing so vigorously to avoid lumps. Return the mixture to the pan and
bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. The bubbles will subside the mixture will thicken, then begin to boil. Let it boil for 1 minute, whisking vigorously.

4. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of the prepared electric mixer. Beat in the butter and vanilla on medium speed, continuing to mix until the pastry cream has
cooled. If not using right away, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

To Fill Éclairs: Spoon the pastry cream or crémeux into a piping bag fitted with a 1&frasl4-inch round or star tip. Make a small hole at the bottom of a choux or cut a slit on the bottom or side of an éclair with a paring knife, and pipe in the filling until full.



1.8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1&frasl3 cup chopped)

1&frasl2 cup heavy whipping cream

Edible gold leaves (optional)


1. Soften the gelatin in the ice water for 3 minutes, then strain out the excess liquid through a fine-mesh strainer. Place the hydrated gelatin and the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan, pour the cream around the edges of the pan, and swirl it into the center by tilting the pot. Stir carefully to dissolve the sugar, clean
the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, and clip on a calibrated candy thermometer. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 219°F.

3. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Let cool completely at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate at least overnight or up to 1 week.

4. After glazing the éclairs, decorate with a gold leaf, if desired.

To Glaze Éclairs: Place the fondant or glaze in a bowl, following the directions of each recipe to make sure that it has the right consistency. Hold a éclair with one hand and dip it, top-side down, into the fondant or glaze. Let the excess drip off, dip again if needed, and then place the éclair, topside up, on a baking sheet or wire rack to set. If you&rsquove never done it before, the first ones you glaze might not be as beautiful as those you see in shops or online, but you&rsquoll quickly get the hang of it.

Calissons traditionally are often made with candied melon. Here, I use grapefruit and cantaloupe instead.


2&frasl3 cup confectioners&rsquo sugar, plus more for assembly

1&frasl8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon apricot preserves

1&frasl3 cup grapefruit confit, drained well

1&frasl3 cup candied cantaloupe, drained well


1. Place the almond flour, sugar, salt, and apricot preserves in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 25 times, until a smooth paste forms. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every 5 pulses to ensure that all the ingredients are mixing
smoothly. Add the grapefruit confit and candied cantaloupe and pulse them in, 5 pulses more. You should be able to press the dough into a ball with your hands.

2. Place one sheet of the wafer paper on waxed or parchment paper, shiny side up. Place half of the dough on the wafer paper, sprinkle it with confectioners&rsquo sugar to prevent the rolling pin from sticking, and roll it out into a rectangle about 11 x 4 inches and 1&frasl3 inch thick. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough.

3. With a calisson or diamond cookie cutter, a chef&rsquos knife, or a sharp pizza cutter, cut the dough into diamonds. If using a knife or pizza cutter, use a ruler to cut 3&frasl4-inch-wide strips parallel to each other. Then place the ruler at the bottom left of the dough on a 45-degree angle. Measure 1-inch-wide strips parallel to each other, and then the cut diamond shapes that form. Use the diagram below as a guide.

4. Dip the tops of the calissons in the orange blossom glaze or use a toothpick to spread the glaze over the tops. The glaze layer should be about 1&frasl16 inch thick. Return them to the waxed or parchment paper and let them air-dry for 24 hours. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


Makes about 1 cup in syrup, 13&frasl4 cups drained


Peel of 1 small grapefruit


1. Cut the grapefruit peels into 1&frasl4-inch-wide strips, then cut those into 1&frasl4-inch pieces. Place the peels in a small stainless-steel saucepan. Add the salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and blanch for 5 minutes once the water is boiling. Pour the mixture into a strainer and rinse in cold water. Repeat the blanching process 3 more times, without adding extra salt. The last time, leave the peels in the strainer and reserve.

2. Pour the sugar and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat with the corn syrup and blanched grapefruit peels. Once the mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it. Let the mixture cool overnight in the syrup. Store the cooled confit in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Drain the peel before the adding it to recipes.


Makes 11&frasl2 pints in syrup, about 1 pint drained


Flesh of 1&frasl2 medium-size ripe orange-fleshed cantaloupe, cut in 1&frasl4-inch pieces


Place the sugar in a medium saucepan and cover with the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the diced cantaloupe. Lower the heat to low and let simmer
for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Drain the cantaloupe well before adding to recipes. It will keep in the syrup, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.



2&frasl3 cup confectioners&rsquo sugar

11&frasl2 teaspoons orange blossom water

1 to 3 drops liquid, paste, or gel food coloring (as desired)


Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir by hand, to avoid creating a lot of bubbles, until they form a homogenous mixture. Use immediately, or cover the glaze with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface so that the glaze does not dry before time comes to dip the calissons.

Lapsang Souchong is one of my most favorite teas to have at afternoon tea in Paris. The tea&rsquos subtle smokiness infuses nicely into milk, so it works particularly well in this eggy, dairy-based batter.


1&frasl2 cup confectioners&rsquo sugar

1&frasl8 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong tea


1. Sift the sugar into a medium bowl. Mix in the flour and salt, and set aside.

2. Place the milk and 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. At the boil, add the tea and let steep for 6 minutes. Stir, and thoroughly press the mixture through a sieve. Let cool slightly for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg and yolk to combine them, then whisk in the warm milky tea. Whisk in the flour mixture in three batches, doing so gently until the ingredients are just combined. Strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve or a chinois into another bowl or a reusable container, cover, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.

4. Prepare your copper or stainless-steel cannelés molds by melting the beeswax and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave for about 1 minute. Brush the molds evenly and thoroughly with a 1-inch-wide pastry brush. Freeze the molds overnight. Preparing the molds this way every time helps the
texture of the finished cannelés and is worth the effort.

5. If using a silicone mold, coat it with vegetable oil cooking spray and use immediately.

6. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange the molds on a baking sheet.

7. Gently stir the batter to recombine any settled solids. Pour the batter into a piping bag without a tip, and cut a 1&frasl8-inch opening in the bag, or pour it into a cup with a spout, such as a measuring cup, and then pipe or pour the batter into the
prepared molds, filling them only three quarters of the way up. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F and bake for 20 additional minutes. Rotate the pans every 10 minutes, three times total.

8. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cannelés cool in them for 5 minutes, then unmold from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. If a cannelé is stuck, use a bamboo skewer to help release it. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

This quintessential French cookie relies mostly on using the highest quality butter, to barely hold together its crumbly texture. A European-style butter will have slightly more fat content, which helps give the cookie its char


1&frasl2 cup good-quality unsalted butter,
at room temperature

1&frasl3 cup confectioners&rsquo sugar

1&frasl4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1&frasl8 teaspoon baking powder

1 packed teaspoon finely grated

1&frasl2 teaspoon organic lavender buds


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, not fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Break the egg yolk with a fork and drizzle it in slowly. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the flour, salt, baking powder, and lavender buds, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.

2. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and use your hands to spread it along the long side of the plastic in a rough log shape. Use the plastic wrap to roll the dough into a 11&frasl2-inch-wide log, rolling the log on the counter to help even it out and to remove any air pockets. Freeze the dough for 15 minutes, then take it out and round up the shape so it makes as perfect a log as possible. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes. It will keep, frozen and tightly wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap, for up to 2 months.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Remove the dough from the freezer and let it thaw slightly for 5 minutes.

5. Place the dough on a cutting board and cut it into 1&frasl3-inch-thick pieces. Roll the log 90 degrees between each cut to keep its shape round. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, leaving 3&frasl4 inch between them. Place a small crystallized violet in the center of each cookie before baking.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies just lift up when you try to move them. Let cool on the baking sheet and serve at room temperature. Store any extra in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.

You can find pistachio flour online, in health food stores, or make your own by grinding pistachios into a fine powder. Be careful to not grind them so much that they turn into a paste.

Makes about 35 sandwiched dacquoisettes


1 cup confectioners&rsquo sugar

1&frasl4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons powdered egg whites

1&frasl2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.

2. Trace 70 circles with a 11&frasl2-inch-wide biscuit cutter on two half-sheets of parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch between each circle. Flip the paper over onto two half-sheet pans.

3. Sift the confectioners&rsquo sugar, pistachio flour, cornstarch, and salt into a bowl or onto a piece of waxed paper and set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and powdered egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whisking until a very
stiff meringue forms, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla, stop the mixer, and with a spatula fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

5. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1&frasl2-inch star tip. With your piping bag 1&frasl4 inch above the sheet pan surface, quickly pipe the batter into spirals on each circle on the parchment paper, 1 inch apart, until the batter is used up. Immediately bake for 35 minutes, until the meringues are completely crisp. They should come off the parchment paper with no resistance and feel soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The meringues will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days (unless your kitchen is very humid) or frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 1 month.

6. Assemble the dacquoisettes. Spoon the jam into a piping bag (without a tip). Cut a 1&frasl8-inch hole straight across the tip of the pastry bag. Pipe the jam in a spiral shape over the flat side of a baked and cooled dacquoisette. Invert a second dacquoisette, flat-side down, over the jam. Repeat with the rest of the baked dacquoisettes, or with however many you desire to make at one time. Wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.



3 dry half-pints fresh raspberries or frozen and thawed raspberries

11&frasl4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed
and strained lemon juice (from 1&frasl2 lemon)


Place the raspberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl to strain out the raspberry seeds. Return the strained mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, for 8 to 10 minutes, until it reaches a jamlike consistency, about 217°F on a calibrated candy thermometer, and clings to the spatula. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and pour the jam into a shallow pan to cool. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

I love adding basil to sweet dishes, and this recipe is no exception&mdashit pairs extremely well with raspberries and cuts through the sweetness of the white chocolate.


Makes 40 shells, enough for 20 sandwiched macarons


1&frasl4 cup aged egg whites (from 3 large eggs see note)

2 teaspoons (3 grams) powdered egg whites

1&frasl4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

11&frasl3 loose cups almond flour

3&frasl4 cup medium-packed confectioners&rsquo sugar

4 to 6 drops liquid, paste, or gel food coloring, or up to 1&frasl8 teaspoon powdered food coloring (as desired


1. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats. Place each baking sheet on top of another unlined one so that they are doubled up this insulates the macarons and evens out the oven&rsquos heat, making for a more even baking.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and powdered egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whisking the meringue
until very stiff peaks form.

3. Place the almond flour, confectioners&rsquo sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 10 seconds to combine them. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. If using food coloring, stop folding when the batter appears to be 90 percent incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl, and stir in the desired coloring with 2 to 4 more strokes. The batter is ready when it is shiny (very important!) and loose enough to drop down from the spatula back to the bowl into one continuous lavalike flow. The batter should not hold any three-dimensional shape.

4. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1&frasl4 to 1&frasl3-inch round tip. Fill the bag halfway, and cover the rest of the batter in the bowl while piping. Holding the tip of the bag at a 90-degree angle 1&frasl4 inch above the baking sheet, firmly squeeze it until you have a 11&frasl2-inch round about 1&frasl4 inch (6 millimeters) high. Do not move the bag while squeezing out the batter. As
soon as you have reached the desired size, completely release the pressure on the bag and twist your wrist in a clockwise direction, without lifting it up. Once the batter stops flowing, stop squeezing the bag, lift, and pipe the next round, 11&frasl2 inches apart. Continue with the remaining batter. Firmly slam the baking sheets on your countertop to remove excess air and ensure that any tails settle down.

5. Let the macaron shells air-dry on the baking sheets for 20 minutes.

6. While the shells dry, preheat the oven to 350°F.

7. Bake for 8 minutes, then lower the heat to 275oF (135oC) and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pans cool to the touch. To easily remove the shells from the baking sheets, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, then remove the shells with an offset spatula. If your freezer doesn&rsquot fit sheet pans, slide the silicone mat onto a cooling rack and let the shells cool completely, about 1 hour.

NOTE: To age the egg whites, separate them into a bowl or container and whisk them lightly to break them up. Cover the container in plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the plastic, and refrigerate for 3 days. To then measure them out for the recipe, place another container on a scale, zero it out, and slowly pour in the whisked aged whites until you reach the desired weight.


Makes about 1 cup filling enough to fill 1 batch of macarons


1&frasl4 packed teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1&frasl4 lemon)

1&frasl4 teaspoon pink peppercorns, finely chopped

8.8 ounces white chocolate, preferably Opalys, finely chopped (about 12&frasl3 cups chopped)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Heat the raspberry purée, lemon zest, pink peppercorns, and basil in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a rapid boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes, then remove the basil leaves with kitchen tongs.

2. Remove from the heat and pour in the chocolate, vanilla, and fleur de sel. Shake the saucepan so that the chocolate is submerged. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk rapidly from the center of the pot outward in a spiral shape until the chocolate is fully melted. Slowly drizzle and whisk in the Framboise. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and refrigerate to let it set, about 1 hour. It should have a consistency similar to that of peanut butter, soft enough to be piped but not runny. Fill the macaron shells. The filling will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week. If you store it, bring it to room temperature 1 hour before filling the macarons.

Crème Renversée

Crème Renversée looks very impressive when you serve it, but if you can make a simple syrup and a simple custard, you can put this together with ease. Once you have made Crème Renversée a couple of times, you can experiment with the flavoring of the custard. This recipe is for vanilla Crème Renversée but you can try cardamom, cinnamon, or orange, if you like.

You can make Crème Renversée up to three days in advance. The flavor matures nicely as it rests in the refrigerator. This recipe makes six 5-ounce desserts, so you will need six 5-ounce ramekins.


  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces water
  • 12 ounces whole milk
  • 2 3/4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean


  1. Place the 8 ounces of sugar, 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup, and 4 ounces of water into a saucepan and place over a medium-high flame.
  2. Cook to a medium amber color.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute or two.
  4. Pour the caramel into the bottom of the ramekins.
  5. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out.
  6. Place the milk and a teaspoon of the remaining sugar in a saucepan with the scraped vanilla seeds and vanilla pods.
  7. Place over a medium low flame and bring to a simmer.
  8. Whisk eggs and remaining sugar together in a heatproof bowl.
  9. Once the milk is quickly simmering, remove from the heat.
  10. While whisking the eggs, pour a small amount of the scalded milk into the eggs to temper them.
  11. Pour the eggs into the scalded milk while whisking.
  12. Strain into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve.
  13. Pour into the ramekins.
  14. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  15. Place the ramekins into a roasting pan and place the roasting pan into the oven.
  16. Pour water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.
  17. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
  18. You will know that the custard is ready when the sides are set and the center is a bit wobbly.
  19. Remove from oven and let come to room temperature.
  20. Chill overnight.

Frozen Chocolate Mousse (Marquise au Chocolat)

This dessert—a fudgy, frozen or semifrozen chocolate mousse that’s sometimes coated in ganache, then sliced—likely came from the 17th or 18th century, when royal pastry chefs lived large. I like to crumble in Speculoos cookies, like Biscoff brand, before freezing, to add crunch and pretty golden flecks, but anything that works with chocolate—from candied ginger to rum-soaked raisins—is fair game. It’s at its best when semifrozen or thawed but still chilly. Get the recipe for Frozen Chocolate Mousse (Marquise au Chocolat) » Christina Holmes

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For something simple-yet-delicious, try the macaroons – golden coconut mounds that shouldn’t be confused with pastel-coloured patisserie macarons. They only have five ingredients, and flour isn’t one of them, so they’re perfect for any gluten-intolerant guests in your midst.

Finally, if you’re after something rich and luxurious, try the chocolate option. And from the title alone – ‘Chocolate Pudding, But French’ – you just know it’s going to be wonderfully elegant. Peppler’s recipe takes the form of layered cups – combining the richness of a traditional French pudding with the light texture of chocolate mousse. Is it too early to start working on a guest list?

Cherry galette

Rebekah says: “You know what people around a table really lose their minds over? The pouring of good cold cream over a dessert. Try it first on this galette, which is studded with cherries enclosed in a flaky, lightly citrus crust, then keep a pint in the refrigerator for your next chocolate cake, batch of brownies, literally any ripe fresh or roasted fruit, a pie or tart… you get the idea.”

Makes one 30.5 cm galette

  • 210g plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 110g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 570g fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • double cream, chilled, for serving

To make the crust: in a food processor or large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and fine sea salt. Add the lemon zest and cubed butter and pulse, or use your hands to press together until pea-size pieces form.

Add 3 to 5 tablespoons (45 to 80ml) of ice water and mix just until a dough forms. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic or reusable beeswax wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

To make the filling: in a large bowl, combine the cherries, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, cornflour, lemon zest, vanilla, and fine sea salt. Toss to combine.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a 38cm circle. Slide the parchment onto a large rimmed baking sheet and use a pastry brush to brush the dough with the beaten egg (reserving some egg to finish).

Mound the prepared cherry filling in the centre of the dough, leaving a 5 to 7.5cm border. Gently fold the edges of the dough up and over most of the fruit, pressing the folds gently to seal.

Brush the folded edges of the galette with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and flaky sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 180°C and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly and nearly set, 40 to 50 minutes.

Let the galette cool on the baking sheet on a cooling rack (the liquid will continue to set as it cools). Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with cold cream.

Sablés, but not, like, regular sablés, cool sablés

Rebekah says: “One of the fun things about being an American living in Europe is that many parts of fairly innocuous American culture suddenly become hip. Take drop cookies. Your chocolate chip, your peanut butter, your white chocolate macadamia: all have become très cool in Paris.

“But the French forget their own best cookie. Sablés are simple, crumbly (‘sablé’ means sandy), two-bite cookies rich with butter and not much else, just as good freshly baked as they are a few days later. This recipe is an update on the classic with extra vanilla and salt and a coating of turbinado sugar.”

  • 220g unsalted butter
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 315g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 65g turbinado sugar

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, confectioners’ and granulated sugars, and vanilla bean seeds beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until the eggs are incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 25 by 4cm log. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. (The logs can also be frozen for up to 3 months.)

Working one at a time, unwrap the logs and brush the outsides with the egg white, reserving some for brushing each sablé. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar until completely coated.

Use a sharp knife to cut each log into 32 thin slices (about 6mm thick) and transfer to a baking sheet, cut-sides down.

Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg white and sprinkle with additional turbinado sugar and flaky salt. Bake until the sablés are set and lightly golden around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.

Cookies will last, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

Thibault’s madeleines

Rebekah says: “While there’s ample room for a lovely lady lumps pun here, I’ll spare you. All you need to know is that these small, tender, classic French cookie-cakes are packed with so much vanilla that they taste like birthday cake and – as long as you follow the steps – you’ll get those coveted L.L.L. every time.”

  • 140g plain flour, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 130g sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 110g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and vanilla bean seeds, then add the eggs and vigorously whisk until the mixture is smooth and lightly thickened. Use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients just until they are incorporated.

Add the melted butter and vanilla extract and fold gently to combine.

Butter and lightly flour two madeleine pans (or work in batches and chill the remaining half of the batter), and spoon the batter into the moulds until each mould is about two-thirds full (you may have a little batter left over).

Cover the pan lightly with a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Place a large, heavy baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 230°C.

Place the cold madeleine pan on the hot baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 180°C. Bake until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown and the centres lightly spring back when gently poked, about 10 minutes.

Assertively tap the bottom edge of the pan against the counter to release the madeleines from their moulds and carefully transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately.


Rebekah says: “There are macarons: pastel, filled, layered, best for tea parties and those without nut allergies. And there are macaroons: coconut, toasted, sometimes dipped in chocolate, ideal for Passover and those with gluten allergies.

“These are the latter, almost meringue-like, made to be deeply browned, and packing big coconut flavour, a.k.a. the way a macaroon should be but rarely ever is.”

  • 285g large flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 150g sugar

Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the flakes start to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the egg whites are frothy, 15 to 30 seconds.

Whisking constantly, add the sugar gradually until the mixture is bright white and thickened (but not so much that peaks form) and the sugar is completely combined, about 1 minute more. Use a spatula to fold in the toasted coconut.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using damp hands (to prevent sticking) or a cookie scoop, gently form the coconut mixture into 4cm balls, each 1½ to 2 tablespoons. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2.5 cm between the macaroons.

Bake until deeply golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the macaroons to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Macaroons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Chocolate pudding, but French

Rebekah says: “Chocolate is messy and finicky and – please keep reading this recipe after you hear this – unless it’s in strict bar form, I don’t particularly like it for dessert. A great many in France, however, do.

“This recipe takes their pudding-like pots de crème and their rich, family-style bowls of mousse au chocolat and combines them with a chocolate-based American schoolyard treat I do love: layered pudding cups. Serve it in your biggest, chicest bowl with lots of whipped cream, flaky salt, and spoons.”

  • 600ml whole milk
  • 180ml double cream
  • 100g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • lightly whipped cream, for serving
  • flaky sea salt, for serving

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the milk, cream, sugar, cornflour, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, and fine sea salt and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

Let the mixture boil just until it starts to thicken, 1½ to 2 minutes, then immediately remove the pan from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisking constantly, slowly add 120ml of the hot milk mixture to the eggs.

Pour it all back into the pan with the remaining milk mixture and cook, whisking constantly over low heat, until the mixture just starts to bubble.

Place the dark chocolate in one mixing bowl and the white chocolate in another. Strain half the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into each bowl. Whisk both until the chocolates are completely melted and the puddings are smooth.

Transfer the dark chocolate pudding to a large serving bowl. Add the white chocolate pudding and gently swirl just to barely combine. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 6 hours, and serve with lightly whipped cream and flaky salt.

À Table: Recipes For Cooking And Eating The French Way by Rebekah Peppler (£21.99, Chronicle Books) is out now

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These famous French desserts will make your mouth water . The recipes are easy and free. Simple secrets… guaranteed success and smiles! After all, isn't it seeing all those smiling faces that feels so good?

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Dessert Quote of the Week:

"Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table." - William Powell

"As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate." - Sandra Boynton

Have a wonderful time making and eating these sumptuous famous French desserts and delicious breads.

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